Once upon a time, if you wanted to play mobile casino games on your phone, they probably ran on Java, and you perhaps reached them on a WAP site using a link sent to you via SMS.
These days if you play browser-based mobile casino games, they’re often reached in exactly the same way as you would reach the site on a desktop computer or laptop – type in the homepage URL or run a Google search, or click through from a review site, and you’re ready to log in and start playing.
What’s changed? One of the main developments is the rise of HTML5, supported by most modern browsers including many of those that come pre-installed on smartphones and tablets.
It’s an evolution of the same programming language that has underpinned the internet since it first began, but it’s much more powerful, allowing entire casino games to be incorporated directly into web pages, with compatibility for many smartphones and tablets.
It’s an ever-growing platform – Microgaming in particular have been offering HTML5 slots since at least 2012, and you’ll often find unusual and innovative gameplay features included in brand new titles designed for the platform.
Beyond slots, there’s also an ever-growing number of table games and card games, ranging from Roulette to Blackjack.
While instant-play mobile casinos were once a very limited version of their desktop equivalents, that is no longer really the case.Nowadays you can expect to see almost as many titles on your mobile as on your computer – and in many cases, casino sites are designed to run seamlessly on different platforms, so the selection of games updates but everything else looks pretty much the same.
The main thing about HTML5 mobile casinos is that you can play simply by typing the appropriate URL into your mobile browser, or by following a link from search results or from a casino news and reviews site.
If you’re already a member, you should be able to log in without any delay, using your existing username and password, and usually have access to your same account balance too.
Compared with downloading and installing an app, it can be much faster and fuss-free – just remember data usage charges will still apply if you’re on 3G or 4G, so you might want to make sure you’re on a Wi-Fi connection before logging on.
Bet365 have been one of the leaders in HTML5 mobile gaming for years, and they give some of the clearest advice on how to log on, on the help pages of their desktop site; you’ll need an iPhone or Android phone, and there’s tablet support too.
Microgaming are not the only software providers with an HTML5 mobile platform – Playtech’s Open Platform (POP) also hosts an ever-increasing number of HTML5 titles.
LeoVegas is one site with a strong mobile focus – they were named EGR Mobile Casino Product of the Year in 2014, and signed to POP in April 2015, joining Bet365, Ladbrokes and Gala Coral on the Playtech platform.